American English

Definition of butterfly noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. butterflies)
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  1. 1[countable] a flying insect with a long thin body and four large, usually brightly colored, wings butterflies and moths She's like a butterfly. She flits in and out of people's lives.
  2. 2[uncountable] a swimming stroke in which you swim on your front and lift both arms forward at the same time while your legs move up and down together She came in third in the 200 meter butterfly (= a swimming race).
  3. 3social butterfly [countable] a person who is not serious and spends a lot of time going to parties, and talking to people
  4. Idioms
    have butterflies (in your stomach) (informal)
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    to have a nervous feeling in your stomach before doing something
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: butterfly